Monday, June 30, 2008

Awesome blues and pre-vacay loose ends

I'm going to be out of town for a few days this week, so I'm trying to get several things in with this one post. Kim and the girls will be running the Stump without me, which some of you are likely grateful for as I am being "forced" to take a brief sabbatical by the boss (Kim) to mellow me out (she sounds like Struther Martin, "Ya gotta git yer mind right, boy"). I've been putting in almost 24/7 weeks for a few weeks now and I guess it's starting to show as I'm getting a little owly, impatient and irritable (GET YER OWN DAMN COFFEE!) least more than normal anyway.

If you weren't here last Saturday night you missed one of the best live music performance that Stumpjack has had to date. Brian Sanchez and Nick Weiland of Whiskey Jars & Scandals put on one of the smoothest, tightest, free-feelin' improv, groovenest and bluesenest shows ever. I'm kicking myself that we didn't get this down on would have made one of the coolest small venue live blues recordings ever. We didn't have a big crowd...only around 15 people not counting us, but the applause and vocal appreciation from those who were here made it sound like a full house. We're picking a date to have Brian and Nick back in September and will have the wires set to record. You gotta come down to see these guys and be a part of the recording...if they put it out like they did Saturday night you will be very glad you did, guaranteed. Check out Brian Powell's comment about the evening in the post below this one...thanks Brian.

Click here for the Flickr set of pics.

This coming Saturday at 8pm the always angelic acoustic sounds of one Becky Markvart will again grace the carpet at Stumpjack. Becky's new CD (3 or 4 weeks old now I think), "Shine Down On Me," has been selling like Leinie's in the Moccasin Bar on a Friday night (you musky fishermen will get that reference). Come on down for a gelato, good music and conversation.

The results have been officially published now, and we can announce that Stumpjack Coffee won "Best of Manitowoc County" in the following categories:
  • Best Coffee Shop
  • Best Atmosphere
  • Best Lunch
So thank you everyone who voted for us. We are grateful, gratified and groovin' on the high that comes from having good people appreciate what's happening at Stumpjack Coffee. Thanks so very, very much. While they didn't announce 2nd or 3rd place finishes in the voting categories I heard that David Smith received an unofficial 3rd place finish in the "Best OB/GYN" category...congratulations to him.

Wednesdays, July 2 and 16 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. the Urban Gardening Gang (UGG) will meet at Stumpjack. Come one, come all. Help spread the word about urban gardening. Here's there website link:

Finally, we just got an Indian Monsooned Blend in, around an hour ago as I write this. People have been asking for it since last week's "Spill the Beans" coffee column came out in the Herald Times Reporter. This is not pure Indian Monsooned but is a blend of Indian, Sumatra Mandheling and Mexican. Not quite as pungent or spicy as pure Indian Monsooned, but definitely carries the monsooned fingerprint and very fine nonetheless.

You all have a beautiful and joyous week...I promise I won't be thinking of any of you.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tonight's Live Music via Milwaukee

Tonight (Saturday) at 8:00pm

Blues Rock with Whiskey Jars & Scandals

Come on over after the Cool City Car Show in downtown TR.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chamber of Commerce After Hours

Kim and her friend Karen Szyman from the Chamber of Commerce
Karen got named Executive Director of the Chamber, the day after this event. Congrats to her!
Wednesday evening Stumpjack Coffee hosted the Manitowoc County Chamber of Commerce "Business After Hours" soirée. It was a fun and lively event with lots of chitchat and the chance to meet some new faces. Click here to view the Flickr set of pics I took. Kim did a fabulous job in getting everything organized and ready for the party...all the food and drink prep, getting everyone assigned their respective duties, running everything smoothly. The only gripe I have is that I didn't get a chance to sample any of the mojitos that she made (and she made a lot, but it was all gone by the time I got around to it), but that's my own darn fault I suppose.

I like this picture of HoneyPot owner Cindy Thayer...she's funny (that would be funny humorous, not funny weird...although come to think of it...).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Art & Music images

Full house
Here's the Flickr set from last night's soirée for Andrea Drida's art opening and Kyle Feerick's gig. A busy, fun night and a lot of pictures in this set.

Allie and Andrea
It was a very nice opening for Andrea, with a ton of compliments on her work and several sales. And Kyle was great, with a couple of sets that included just a few covers (that he made his own), but mostly his own original tunes, which were very well received by the audience (lots of whistles and shouts). Doug (Day) set up his gear and recorded Kyle, so hopefully we got some good stuff down on tape (or more accurately, down on digital).

Kyle Feerick

Our pal Marty also has some Stumpjack images on his own Flickr site, including a few from last night.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

MUSIC & ART this weekend

poster by Andrea
Double whammy on Friday night: 7:00 opening art exhibition: "Broken Hearts Bleed" drawings and paintings by Andrea Drida. 8:00 Live Music with Kyle Feerick - Milwaukee independent musician.

Kyle Feerick

From the press release:

Kyle Feerick is a musician living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who has shared the stage with many established Milwaukee artists. He has a reputation as an artist who enjoys spontaneous collaborations and musical experimentation. A member of the Milwaukee band Momentary, Feerick also performs numerous solo concerts while continually writing and experimenting with new sounds and recording techniques. His voice and music have fresh and upbeat quality reminiscent of the 80s English New Wave band XTC, while he lists his influences as including artits such as Radiohead, The Mars Volta, Dave Matthews Band, Bob Marley, Nirvana, Weezer, Wes Montgomery, and Sublime. This will be Feerick’s first appearance at Stumpjack Coffee and his performance will take place during the opening reception of “Broken Hearts Bleed,” an art exhibition featuring the drawings and paintings of Andrea Drida. Feerick’s Music can be heard on his MySpace site as well as Momentary’s site.

Saturday night at 8:00: Becky Markvart, recent winner of Best Local Musical Group (along with her partner Bill Martell) and new recording artist with her just released CD "Shine Down On Me."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Open Monday mornings/Coffee Column

Open this summer on Mondays 8:00a.m. - Noon
FYI: We're going to be fiddling with our hours a bit for this summer (yes, we'll likely be using the term "summer hours" in signage somewhere). Haven't entirely settled on everything yet, but one thing we will be doing is opening Monday mornings from 8:00 until around noon. Cheyenne will be running the shop while I'm busy doing other maintenance work.

Last Week Wednesday, June 11, the Herald Times Reporter published the first installment of my coffee column. We've received a truckload of very kind responses and comments on it, that are much appreciated. The HTR is calling the column "Spill the Beans"...a bit clichéd but serviceable nonetheless. The column will be published twice a month with half of columns being written by me and the other half coming from a small pool of other good folks.

You can click the image above to enlarge or go directly to the HTR site online to read it:

I would ask a favor of you: if you do read the articles at the HTR online site please leave a comment at the bottom of the page with your thoughts (for this and future "Spill the Beans" columns by me or the other writers). While a lot of people have been very vocal about the column to me personally, the HTR would also like to know what people think, and your feedback will help keep the thing going and may even shape what is discussed in the column.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I crush your head!

Yes, yes, hello there...I crush your head!
We are crushing your head!
(Click on this one to see Becky's victorious head crushing smirk.)

I am crushing your head!

Wild Bill at the Stump Friday Night

Bill Walkner performing live at Stumpjack Coffee - Friday (June 13th) at 8:00pm.

Dancing Girls and Live Animal Acts may or may not be a part of Bill's performance!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

MBB Syndrome

As my friends know, I'm generally a pretty laid-back, mellow and unflappable cool under fire, confident and perhaps even a bit too cocksure of myself. However, yesterday I experienced a few minutes of MBBS brought on by a telephone conversation I had with a guy in New Jersey. I don't feel completely embarrassed because I'm fairly confident that everyone has experienced or does experience MBBS from time to time. MBBS is, of course, Momentary Beavis and Butt-head Syndrome, and is characterized by brief moments of slightly increased heart rate; vacant cerebral function; unintentional nervous laughter; vocal emissions, also unintentional, that sound like ""; and a distasteful though undeniable urge to name drop and excitedly advertise the source of the pathology.

Ok, the guy I just got off the phone with was Pat Dinizio! Yes, Pat Dinizio of the Smithereens! He of a truckload of hit songs, videos, sold-out concerts, and three decades of consistently excellent rock music. I was a fan of the Smithereens in my college days (although I was also briefly miffed that they stole the name I had settled on for my own never-realized band...c'mon, there's not even a guy named Smith in their band! But I got over it and claimed them as my own band anyway).

So, I've been daydreaming and talking about getting Pat to play the Stump since we opened. And now it's gonna happen.
Pat and I talked about a few things, including the concept of community...people connecting with one another in an increasingly technological and at times disconnected world. He talked about why he does his "Living Room Concert Tour," about how much joy, friendship and inspiration these small, intimate shows have given him. The guy was just what I had hoped he would and honest, generous, funny and bold. How many other legitimate rock n' roll stars would hop in a van with a few pieces of equipment and a road map to unassumingly drive across the country to play in people's home living rooms and backyards, for literally a fraction of what they get paid doing full-blown stage concerts? It's heartening is what it is. I would think that you'd have to have a very healthy combination of ego and humility to pull something like that off successfully.

I'll talk more about this later, but for now here are a couple of videos with Pat's solo material. Do a youtube search to get a lot of Smithereens and Dinizio vids and music.

I love this song - "Any Other Way" - from one of his solo albums. It's got a tangible early '60s European spy movie vibe (the track that accompanies the shots of the steely-eyed hero driving his sports car, top down, through the French countryside and into the city) or "summer on the Riviera" feel to it. Love the jangly guitar and bluesy undertone.

One of the great voices in rock...earthy and rich. I told Pat how much I liked this particular song and video, the directness and simplicity of it. He said they recorded the video at his old high school. He had always wanted to perform on that stage as a kid, he said, but had been too afraid to do it when he was young. "So we went back there to my old school, set it up, and and I finally did it." How cool is that.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stumpjack dandyism

If you would have been here last Sunday you would have been served coffee by a dapper, tuxedo clad gent...a rare instance of Stumpjack dandyism.